You know, one of the “old stand-byes” in the human condition is “pain”. Both physical and psychological – even spiritual – there have been countless books written on how to deal with this most inconvenient, yet oddly necessary, application of our emotionality. There are vast pharmaceutical companies who reap extraordinary amounts of money assisting those to squelch the pain that dominates their lives. And, there are motivational speakers whose charisma douses the fires that constantly lick at the bottom of our souls as we dangle above the inferno that is our own inner turmoil.
And – there are people like me, who have a chance to “see” how “it” is all put together, and the “why’s” then become far more apparent. Love it or hate it, I am wired to be the decoder of ingredients, the “spiritual reverse engineer”, the “tracker of energetic patterns”, who, once I have a scent, will stay on that anomaly until, to the best of my ability, I can de-tangle and de-crypt the energy signature for the purpose of explaining, in good ol’ plain English — how “it’s” put together. The hope is that if people understand “it” – they can handle “it”. Thanks to enormously gracious clients, I have given some pretty fantastic nicknames — “The Psychic MacGuyver” and “The Fixer” — when applying this aptitude to explain “it”. This “it” can range from OffWorld technology to the State of the Union to, well – layers of human emotionality.
However, even with this odd but helpful aptitude that I’ve been given, there is no amount of reasoning in hearing the “causes”, no amount of “cure” for the human spirit’s evolutionary need to experience pain. Pain just hurts, no matter what the reason. I could tell a client that the reason their head hurts is because the invisible piano, the one that was just dangling precariously above them on a frayed wire, has now fallen on their head.
Yippee for my acute sixth-sense observational abilities. It still hurts.
Pain is part of how we learn. It is part of how we grieve. At times, pain is the tender underbelly of trust. At other times, it is how we persecute ourselves in our attempt to be able to love ourselves. Sometimes, pain is a motivator, to inspire us to remove ourselves from harmful situations. Pain is not a culprit, or a demon. It’s simply a symptom that something within us is moving. There are as many energetic incarnations of the application of “pain” as there are different human souls, and no two people’s pain is identical, or can be compared. This is incredibly important to recognize, when attempting to assist someone in moving past the pain that has them spiritually – or sometimes, quite literally – stricken to the floor in a fetal position.
And that’s a hard position to live life while assuming.
So, with this incredibly complex issue of assisting people to choose to move past the fetal position, and engage the brilliance of the rest of their life — you can imagine my — dare I say it? — my irritation with those who try and force everyone to play “The Pain Game”.
What is the Pain Game, you may ask? Well, I’m quite sure that you’ve been sucked into a round or two. It’s a nasty social game, where someone who is hurting then causes other people to hurt, simply to watch the other person writhe in pain, so it will distract them from their own crippling misery. Sort of like someone who is being eaten by snakes then lighting someone else on fire – for a brief moment, the thrill of the blaze takes their mind off of the fact that they are headed down the belly of the Anaconda.
We are allowed to share our pain with friends – it’s how we cope when we hurt. We receive fantastic support from those who love us in the form of comforting words, a hug, a meal, or even the ol’ standby, a “shot in the arm” from our dear friend Mr. Jack Daniels. Reaching out to receive assistance with our pain is far different than someone who is playing The Pain Game, and it’s very important to point this out. There are many wonderful people who struggle through depression, sexual abuse, and a litany of other horrors in their life, only to come out the other side to be amazing mothers, fathers, and some of the most bright-shining, inspirational people of our time.
Clearly, these folks are not playing The Pain Game.
The Pain Game starts when a person has been hurting for a very long time, and will not address the core cause of the pain, usually out of a deep-seeded fear of experiencing even more pain. This type of pain that is left to fester is typically emotional. Instead of working past the lesson that the pain brings, the person enables the pain to take root in their spirit, in their soul, in their personality, because the “Devil we know” is better than the devil we don’t. While they remain in pain, they know what to expect – they are familiar with each cutting stroke of the emotional pain they’ve been carrying, so even though they are emotionally and spiritually cut to ribbons, they are “in control” of the familiar agony.
They then become so used to the debilitating pain that it transforms into a way of life. The individual starts developing habits to supports the pain, and structures all of their relationships BEHIND the pain, because the pain, then, is the primary relationship in their existence. After all, there is no room for Light in a spirit that insists on remaining dark.
The pain then moves from simply being a way of life, into an energy that craves life in order to continue living within the person. Darkness, or Dark Entities, are deeply attracted to the crippling nature of pain, because when humans are in agony, it releases a very specific spiritual energy. Think of it like bleeding into shark-infested waters. The sharks are just doing their job, cleaning the oceans by eating the wounded prey in the sea. In the same way, Darkness is just doing its job, being attracted by an open, festering wound inside of someone’s spirit.
This is a very unfortunate cycle to be caught up in, as many times, the type of pain that is buried within a soul so deep, and has festered to the point of puncturing a “black hole” in the “heart” of the person — is a tough canyon to close. But nothing is impossible. It simply takes a great deal of effort to climb out of the position of “feeding ground for Darkness”. And often, the people who are so far down this rabbit hole of pain simply don’t have the emotional or spiritual wherewithal to attempt that steep climb, without some serious assistance or intervention. So, these last-mentioned folks aren’t the ones who play The Pain Game.
The ones who play are the ones who are not yet so far down the rabbit hole that they’ve become an all-you-can-eat-demon-buffet. The ones who play still have the ability to veer off their course themselves, and make a better choice for themselves – but instead, they choose to inflict upon others ruination, darkness, humiliation, degradation — all of the hurt they feel. They choose to Pay Pain Forward, rather than arrest the culprit within.
The psychological community refers to this behavior as “The cycle of abuse”.
I refer to this behavior as sheer, unmitigated A-Holism. I’m not a Psychologist. It’s not necessary for me to be medically correct.
There is absolutely NO excuse – none – for choosing to drag down another individual, simply because we are unhappy. Sure, we all have our good days and our bad days, but The Pain Game goes well beyond that. I have dodged out of the way of many people who play The Pain Game as a way of life, attempting to drag others into their dramas, their despair, the “Them Show”, starring THEM. This type of behavior serves no purpose other than to feed the pain inside of the individual, because sacrificing their spirit to the dark is no longer enough.
Certainly, there are mental illnesses associated with this behavior: Borderline personality disorder, Sociopathic illnesses, Narcissistic Personality Disorder, anything that would render the wielder of the pain free of guilt, because there is a lack of conscience present. However, many of these aforementioned conditions were brought on by trauma. There is no “Sociopath” gene to speak of. Even different addictions can have a spiritual side-effect, such as the addict receiving an energetic rush off of the suffering of another. For instance, alcoholism, and the Dark Entities that are attracted to the suffering that is instigated in one’s soul by that condition, appear to be particularly attracted to causing emotional torment for others. This serves a two-fold purpose: to feed the Darkness that is piggy backing on the illness of the individual, and to take the individual’s mind off of what is fueling the need to run from themselves. These spiritual side effects vary greatly from substance to substance. The type of Dark Entities that feed off of the pain that is released by the drug heroin tend to isolate their food source, or “victim”, within the effects of the drug, and suck the user’s life force, rather than inspire the user to actively make someone else’s life hell. It’s a very nasty business, the cause-and-effect of substance abuse, pain, and the different Dark Entity “restaurant chains” that thusly spring forth.
Now, I am in absolutely no way stating that “alcoholics are evil”, or all heroin users are possessed, or that anyone who plays The Pain Game must be an addict, an alcoholic, a sociopath, or mentally ill. In fact, that whole group of folks may “play” the Pain Game from time to time – but the true Pain Game patriots are the ones who just play to play, because it makes them feel powerful, or gathers them attention – at the expense of everyone else around them who is just trying to live their lives, and clean up their own pain, and do the best to be a reasonable member of the human family.
We all have known that “one person” at the workplace, in the family, anywhere, really, who has repeatedly needed to stop the show by declaring their – yup, you guessed it – pain for that day – ad-nauseam. Though the declaration may be wrapped in physical symptoms (“Uh, my back, my feet, my kidneys!”) the underlying energy is: “Hi! I’m in the room, need your attention, and don’t care if I ruin your day, because it’s all about me, my needs, my insecurities, and my underlying anger at myself for allowing myself to be an invisible doormat my whole life.”
Wow. Yeah, sign me up for the cubicle right next to “Mr. Miserable”.
Let’s not forget “Vance Victim”, the guy who will talk your ear off about this promotion or that promotion that he’s been passed up for, because dang it, he’s being used by “The Man”. Let’s not forget that his wife is spending all of his money and his kids hate him. Vance is so busy crying in his laptop about how rotten his life is – and ruining everyone else’s lunch while he’s doing it – that Vance writes himself a prescription for failure, and everyone else in the room feels a sudden need to cast themselves out of a twenty story window.
Last but not least, there is “Mary Martyr”, who throws herself and everyone else under the bus because she’s too fearful to stand up to those she should really be facing down in her life. Mary’s favorite version of The Pain Game is to trap you between the doorway and Hell, and go on and on and on and on about “how she’s been bled dry” by this person, or that person, or is being secretly persecuted by this or that. Don’t turn your back on Mary, though, because you’ll find yourself tossed between the bus axel and the pavement in less than five seconds, should the occasion arise. Mary does not trust herself because she’s chosen cowardice over courage, and she’s going to make everyone else pay for her inability to come to grips with her own self-loathing – one hour of their life at a time.
We all must live with insecurities, pain, and fear. It is HOW we live with it that separates those of us who wish to be part of the solution, from those who wish to continue to fuel the problem. On my Psychic Facebook Page, I attempt to decode, and pass along uplifting messages I receive for humanity. It never fails that someone who is a lifetime pass holder to The Pain Game will invariably pop on a thread and expound on their vitriol toward all the “Butt-Kissing Mary Poppins Do-Gooders” of the world, who just don’t understand their pain, pain, pain. Because Garsh-Dingit, if they are miserable, so will be everybody else. And don’t you forget it.
One who feels the need to dump a bucket of cold water on the uplifting process of another, simply because they are angry that they are not feeling uplifted at that time, is no better than a jealous the three year old who snatches a toy away from another toddler. We, as spiritual beings and as adults, seem to struggle with the fine line between “voicing our opinion”, “processing our pain verbally”, and crossing the line into bullying others because we feel invisible. It is not the job of The Universe to make us feel secure enough to choose to treat others with dignity, even though we are struggling. That is OUR job. And we have no one to blame but ourselves when we fail to keep ourselves in check in this regard.
When we encounter someone who is playing The Pain Game, all we can do is simply not play. One can attempt to bring Light into that person’s process, but remember, in order to play The Pain Game, the person playing must draw people into the muck, not be pulled from the muck. The only way to win The Pain Game – is not to play with the person serving.
I have great compassion for all who suffer. I have little tolerance for the action of victimization of another, simply because one is suffering. I struggle with the latter part, because often, one who suffers desire to create suffering. I struggle because I have seen the long-reaching effects of The Pain Game on the people who are drawn into the foray before they are aware of what’s happening – I see it hundreds of times a day on Facebook and Twitter alone. The venom fostered by the false security provided by Internet Anonymity has launched an entirely new league of Pain Game Pros. And I simply don’t understand the compunction to ruin another’s day, simply because I can.
I have a family member who struggles with debilitating back, neck, and neurological issues – my Uncle Mike. He, unlike many, does not play The Pain Game. He wakes up every morning with disfiguring Parkinson’s Disease and a fused spine, and attempts to make a positive difference in the world – even if it is smiling at one person that day, or extending a courteous word. He has been through his share of ridiculous hardships, both physical and emotional. Epidurals shot into his spine are required to pull the reigns back on the blinding physical nerve and muscle pain that he deals with every day. If anyone had the resume to be team captain in The Pain Game – it would be my Uncle Mike. Instead, he chooses Light. He chooses to write poetry about angels. He chooses to uplift those around him. Because when his spirit is in pain, it brings him solace to help, rather than to harm. And, he would be mortified if he knew I was including him in this article, because his outlook is simply HIS outlook – it is not a statement, nor is he attempting to be a walking, talking visual aid for pain survival. He simply is who he is, and that is enough.
His is a personal code, a personal choice, every day, not a mysterious condition one comes down with, known as “compassion”. We often don’t have control over which situations are dealt to us, but we do have control over how we choose to handle them, especially in these shifting times, when sociology, the economy, and the world – are rapidly changing. When the house is on fire, no one likes the guy who sprays gasoline on the lawn.
Be a light where you are. You don’t have to be perfect. Simply don’t be a stumbling block in the meantime. It’s okay if we have a bad day – that’s what an earnest apology is for. We vent to our friends, so we may unburden ourselves from the pain that holds us back from the joy of that day. We grieve until it passes, and not a minute sooner. Feel free to BE HUMAN. It’s who we are – we have earned that right. Choose wellness, not spiritual incarceration. Choose hope, not bitterness. Choose trust, not fear. Though we do not control the entire vertical and horizontal, our daily Universe is ultimately what we choose it to be.
We are ALL so much greater than the sum total of everything “bad” that’s ever happened to us. Let us all exercise discernment, strength, compassion and discipline, especially during these challenging times, to try and stay away from becoming that one human who takes their half out of the middle. Because let’s face it — Vance Victim never gets invited to the company barbeque.